What Are the Licensing Requirements After I Complete my Master’s in Counseling?

As the world grows ever more used to conflict and a dog-eat-dog style of business, many hard-working and thoughtful citizens are seeking out careers that favor meeting clients half-way and creating positive results out of an often confusing world. This is certainly the case with counseling, which offers the rewards of a solid career with the ability to help others with their personal and professional lives in a way that creates a genuine difference in the state and country in which the counselor works.

How to obtain your LPC

Primarily licensing for counselors in the United States is done on a state-by-state basis in cooperation with national standards and regulation, to become what is called a Licensed professional counselor (LPC), or some variation of this title. Licensure will be provided by the state in which you want to practice, and resolution of matters will exist according to the state’s rules.These licensing protocols are designed to protect both the counselor and their clients and to make sure that standards of education and ethics are met by practitioners within the field. The requirements can involve working a set number of hours in counseling internship, as well as the passing of a National Certification examination, or passing a certain number of credit hours in your master’s program. (Some states require 60 hours compared to the regular 48 in a master’s program, for example.) An additional and optional form of certification comes via National Certification, which offers benefits to those who seek it out. The National Board of Certified Counselors also provides study guides for the national exam, and understanding what sort of material will be covered beforehand can significantly help in managing your study habits.

Checking with your state’s requirements

Largely licensing for becoming a counselor will also depend on the field in which you want to work, and whether your state requires additional requirements for counseling in certain fields — whether that field is in a school, college, healthcare field, addiction speciality, or other environment in which you will help others. Working in a school setting, for example, may require experience working in a school for several years or completing an internship within a school setting, as well as a background check to ensure child safety.  It’s a process that can feel confusing, but is only so because of the right of states to set their own rules. Bear in mind that this is all done so that you can better serve the people you want to help and so that they can best be served by you.

Completing a Master’s in Counseling is for many the first step in a process which allows them to have a real effect on the world around them — a privilege which deserves much respect in today’s workforce, and which many feel they receive for a job well done.  For these reasons, counseling may be the field that appeals to you most — and understanding its various possibilities is central to the choice to go into this rewarding area of the workforce. Knowing about licensing requirements as they apply to the area in which you would like to practice is central to beginning the road toward what many feel is a career that makes a difference.